I ended up hooking up with the guy from Part 1 throughout the summer of 2012, and it was clearly progressing nowhere towards an actual relationship. I tried to be cool with this concept of hooking up without emotions or attachments, but clearly I suck at that game. I was starting to become miserable – and my friends definitely noticed how much of an effect this guy had on my mood. Eventually, I came to terms with the situation and how I was feeling about it… and rather than just hoping for the best or letting it die out, I did something about it.
What Do I Want?
Before I could make myself feel better, I needed to truthfully evaluate why I wasn’t happy to begin with. Clearly, I wanted something that wasn’t being fulfilled, but I needed to recognize it first. Because I had been trying to convince myself for so long that I was okay being just a hookup, it took me a little while to accept that I just wasn’t capable of being that girl – at least, not with this guy. Somehow, he had managed to make me like him (or I just managed to confuse my superficial attraction for real feelings), and it became clear that I wanted more than a hookup. Soon I came to terms with the fact that I wanted more of a commitment; at the end of the day, I wanted to see this progress more towards an exclusive relationship.
What Do I Need?
Once I recognized that I wanted a relationship, I needed to figure out what I would need in that relationship if it were to occur. A lot of these things I already knew (this article actually does a great job of listing out many of the major qualities), but it was a good reality check for me to evaluate my needs in the context of a potential relationship with this particular person who until now had only been evaluated as a hookup. Basically, I needed to answer this: if a relationship with this guy is what I want, then would he be able to give me what I need in that relationship to keep me happy? My natural inclination was to make excuses for the areas where I knew he fell short, but then I had to be real with myself. Yes, there are qualities or relationship expectations that I can live without…but what CAN’T I live without? What do I NEED, and can this guy give that to me? If not, what does he need to do to fulfill those needs? I had already spent too much of my time and emotions on this guy, so why would I want to set myself up for further disappointment and potential heartbreak?
How Do I Get What I Want & Need?
I think the key here is HONESTY. Especially with myself – even in the early dating phases. What is okay, what is not okay, and how long and to what extent am I okay with dealing with the parts that are not okay? Once I figured that out, I was at the point where I needed to be honest with him, and that is exactly what I did.
I called him up and told him that I was beginning to actually like him and was done just hooking up with him. He claimed that he liked me too, and – whether truthful or not – he said he wanted to see where things could go beyond hooking up. So that’s where the honesty piece came in: I know myself well enough to know that I will go crazy without communication and that it was a must-have for me. I told him that I would have no hard feelings if he wasn’t able to give me what I needed and that I would not be mad if he decided to just call it a day and move on. On the flip side, I made sure there was no mistaking the fact that in order for anything to continue going on with us, I needed to hear from him more often and I needed to feel like I wasn’t “out of sight, out of mind” with him. It was an open conversation and because I was being truthful and vulnerable by sharing my honest thoughts while not being accusatory, he was able to tell me what he wanted.
So what was it that he wanted? He said he liked me and wanted to pursue something more than a hookup. He said that he would call me more often and make more time to see me. For exactly one week, he was great. We talked on the phone almost every day, and if not then he at least texted me once (which is really all I needed). We made plans for me to meet up with him one night, but last minute he said he couldn’t. Obviously, I was bummed (and kinda pissed) because it was SO last minute. The next day, I didn’t hear from him. The following day I asked when he might be free to meet up. No response. EVER.
Stick to Your Guns!
Regardless, I just gotta remember what I need and what I absolutely won’t tolerate. Sure, some things can definitely be compromised, but I know that if I am miserable when a reasonable need isn’t being met, then I shouldn’t make excuses for someone who can’t fulfill them. It doesn’t make them a bad person; it just might mean that we aren’t the best match in the long run. In my situation, obviously no relationship was developed. However, several months later he reached out to me via email, clearly trying to revive something with me. I responded to his attempt at small talk but then added something along the lines of, “It’s great to hear from you and hope you are well, but if your reasoning behind reaching out to me was to hang out again, then please know that my intentions have not changed. If you are looking for something more, then you know where to find me; otherwise, I think it is best we go our separate ways.”
Obviously, deep down I wanted him to respond back and say that he wanted more, but when he didn’t I knew it was for the best. Plus, I only made it that much clearer what I was willing to tolerate… which becomes relevant again once we rekindled things in the summer of 2014.